Jim Ford from St. Louis, Missouri, is known to the people he encounters at his job, as the “Repo Man.” When people get too far behind in their car payments, Jim is the guy who shows up to take the car back. He’s not real popular with his customers, needless to say. But, that’s his job.
That job has left him a target of being run over or even shot at in situations where his clients take their frustrations to a whole new level. Recently, however, he was sent to repossess a car from a couple in a situation that didn’t sit well with him.
The car he was sent to repossess was in the possession of Stan, a retired custodian, and Pat Kipling. The couple had fallen into the debt trap that so many people do, but what Ford learned on that day would soon find him executing his duties as a fellow human being, not your stereotypical “Repo Man.”
Stan was a veteran of the United States Navy. Due to some serious health issues, he and his wife had fallen into serious debt. The medical bills piled up, one after another, and consumed the couple’s income quickly. Their $100 per month car payment might just as been $1 million. Their priority was health first, transportation second, although both were desperately needed.
Just doing my job…for one block.
When Ford showed up on the Kipling’s doorstep to take their car, he couldn’t do it. The couple needed their medicine and their car, and they were in no position to be able to afford both. He hesitantly worked his way through the repossession process with the Kipling’s and even managed to muster up the anti-intuitive action of taking their car…for one block.
He couldn’t do it.
“I made it a block before I pulled over and called the bank,” he said. He wanted permission to pay off the debt due to bring the Kipling’s current and keep their car. That’s exactly what Jim Ford did, but there was more.
Looking Out & Reaching Out For Others
Ford knew that his generosity, although very admirable, would only be temporary. It wouldn’t be long before the couple would have found themselves back in the exact same situation again. So, he created a GoFundMe page for the couple.
Just days later, Ford drove the Kipling’s vehicle back to them personally, complete with a fresh oil change, detailing, and a Thanksgiving turkey placed in the front seat. Ford had more than a car to return to the Kiplings. He also had some news to deliver.
In a rare moment of “Repo Man” intervention, Ford explained to the couple that the crowdfunding efforts had raised enough money to pay off their car entirely. There was even a little extra left over. Well, not exactly a little. He handed them the generously donated surplus of more than $17,000!
“It’s just like hitting the lottery,” Stan said. “I’m so happy, I cannot believe it!”
“When he took the car I just said, ‘God, do whatever. Whatever you think is best for us,’” Pat recalled. “You know, God works in mysterious ways.”
What happened next seemed more cruel than mysterious, though.
Devastating Turn Of Events
Just months after finding relief from their debtors in the form of angel Jim Ford, Stan fell and was rushed to the ICU for a lacerated liver and Pat had a heart attack. When Ford found out what had happened, and that both incidents had occurred during the same week, he went back to the GoFundMe page and asked for prayers for his new friends.
Reaching Out To The Hearts Of Others Once Again
Pat recovered from her heart attack, but just days following her recovery, Stan was unable to overcome his injury from his fall and passed away. Ford had become a good friend to the couple during all of this, and once again, he returned to the GoFundMe page. This time, to ask for help in paying funeral expenses in addition to the newly accumulated health costs.
“I’m asking everyone for a small favor to help [relieve] the family of the funeral expenses and the helicopter/hospital bills that may arise from this tragic accident,” he said, asking everyone to donate just five dollars to help with the expenses.
As of the writing of this story, the multitude of donors has raised $28,408 toward the $30,000 goal. Through the stressful tragedy and loss, Pat could not be more grateful to all who took time out to keep them in their thoughts and prayers, and for Jim Ford, the “Repo Man.”